Fauci said the U.S. is expanding Covid vaccine manufacturing to donate shots to the world

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The United States is expanding Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing to donate more doses to countries that don’t have as much access to life-saving vaccines.

“We are now working to greatly expand the capacity so that we can donate hundreds and millions of doses to low- and middle-income countries,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Medical Advisor to the President, in an interview Thursday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”

Scientists around the world, including World Health Organization officials, have condemned wealthy nations for giving booster vaccinations, while many around the world are still unvaccinated.

Dr. Mike Ryan, director of the WHO’s Emergency Health Program, said wealthy nations who choose to give booster doses are “handing out extra life jackets” to those who already have one while drowning other people.

Fauci said the US has distributed more than 120 million doses to 80 countries and donated $ 4 billion in resources to the COVAX vaccine sharing initiative.

“We do both,” said Fauci about the distribution of booster vaccinations and the aid for other countries. “We are very sensitive to the needs of developing countries for vaccine doses, but we believe we can do both.”

Concerns about a delta peak continue to preoccupy many Americans as health systems in high-infection states struggle to keep up with demand for hospital beds. A delta peak could be avoided in the US if more people were vaccinated, Fauci said.

“We can do a lot about it,” said Fauci, noting that 90 million people in the US are eligible for vaccines but still haven’t been vaccinated. “We want to vaccinate the unvaccinated as much as possible.”

The outbreaks in other countries like the UK suggest that delta infections tend to slow dramatically after a peak.

“It’s very difficult to predict, we saw in the UK that after several weeks of high acceleration, things had turned around,” said Fauci.

Once delta infections slow down, Covid-19 could become an endemic disease that remains at low levels in the population, like the flu, although Covid-19 is much more deadly. Unlike the flu, which requires annual vaccinations, Fauci doubts Covid will need recurring boosters to maintain high levels of protection.

“I seriously doubt it, but I’m not sure if we can say, ‘We’re not going to need boosts every X months.’ I don’t think that will be the case, I think this third shot will take us far, “said Fauci.